Salmonellosis: Strauss extends its recall to chewing gum and sweets

A few days after announcing a first recall of products from the Elite factory in Nof Hagalil for fear of salmonella contamination, the Strauss Group chose on Wednesday to remove all products manufactured in this factory from the shelves, considerably extending what was already a massive recall.

Describing the move as an “excess of caution,” Strauss said he was asking the public not to consume any product made at the northern Israel factory regardless of the expiration date, including chewing gum. and caramels. The recall was already considered the largest in Israel’s history even before Wednesday’s announcement.

The chewing gum brands affected are Must, Bazooka and Alma, as well as all Elite chewing candies. The newly recalled products join a long line of previously recalled Elite items, including chocolates such as Para, Pesek Zman, Kif Kef and Taami bars, as well as energy bars, wafers, cookies and brownies produced by Elite. A series of products containing Elite chocolate, including Milky chocolate chip puddings, chocolate covered rice cakes and a wide range of Strauss ice creams have also been recalled as a precaution.

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Wednesday’s decision came after initial lab results from the plant in question indicated the presence of salmonella in two of 270 samples tested. Strauss said he informed the Department of Health of these results and decided to halt all operations at the plant until all issues have been identified and resolved.

Strauss said he made the decision to extend the recall to chewing gum and candy “despite the fact that we currently have no indication that the products may cause problems.”

“We will not take any risks when it comes to public health,” Strauss CEO Eyal Dror said in a press statement Wednesday. “Company management apologizes to the Israeli public, customers and retailers for this serious malfunction. »

Strauss Group Israel CEO Eyal Dror delivers a statement, April 26, 2022. (Screenshot: Channel 12)

Dror promised that Strauss “will learn from the incident, modify and improve the test system and only resume production when we are satisfied that the factory and the production lines are in order and that the products no longer present. no danger – as a responsible company like Strauss is supposed to do. »

The manufacturer further said they do not know the source of the salmonella outbreak.

“We are facing a big problem. It is our duty to compensate our customers. We take responsibility and I believe our honesty will be admired,” Eyal Dror told Army Radio.

Strauss had announced a massive recall on Monday, calling on consumers not to buy and stores not to sell a range of chocolate and snack products for fear of salmonella contamination. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the company extended the recall to other products after ongoing lab tests revealed additional suspicious bacteria.

Tobias Siegal contributed to this article.

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